The naira on Monday depreciated to a record low of 520 against the United States dollar at the parallel market as scarcity of the greenback continued to keep the exchange rate in a free fall mode.
The local currency had closed at 516/dollar on Friday, after hitting 510/dollar and 507/dollar last Thursday and Tuesday, respectively.
Economic and financial experts have blamed the downward slope of the local currency to the demand for dollar for school fees payment overseas as well as Personal Travel Allowance by intending travellers at the parallel market.
This is just as Reuters gathered that retail currency traders tried to digest the Central Bank of Nigeria’s new decision to sell dollars to retail users through commercial banks.
The CBN is planning to sell $1m weekly to each of the country’s 21 commercial banks at a rate of N375 to clear a backlog of demand for retail users and try to narrow the premium between the official and black market rates.
Retail currency users buy dollars from licensed Bureaux de Change operators. However, due to the CBN’s inability to meet dollar demand, the BDCs have tended to source dollars from private sources and resell at a much higher margin, fuelling the black market.